Staying on Track while Traveling

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 12:00 AM

I've been traveling for the last few weeks, and it can be tough to find ways to train and eat balanced meals. But it is possible - even with different time zones, packed schedules, no gym access, and with limited airport menu options. It just takes a little planning! I want to share a few things that have helped me!

For training:

  • I always pack a jump rope and a resistance band. This is great for getting a quick workout in anywhere! I alternate my workout time between jumping rope and getting a "pump" with the resistance band. An example might be one minute of jump rope, and 30 seconds of band rows. Rest 30 seconds, and repeat 2x...put together 4 or 5 similar circuits, and voila - you have a workout that can be done in a very small space!
  • If I have access to a hotel gym, I'll do a Tabata circuit, rest a couple of minutes, and repeat. Here's an example:

The timers can be found on YouTube, or purchased as an mp3 (the one on the video is from UltraLife on Amazon).

  • Other great body-weight exercises include: jumping jacks, burpees, jump squats, speed skaters, high-knees, push-ups, lunges. These can also be put into a circuit with more reps and at a lower intensity.
  • If you're not feeling very creative, check out Fitness Blender on YouTube. They have some great body-weight workouts.
  • Sweat it up in the stairwell!
  • Interval "sprints" in the pool, or just swim laps!

For meals:

  • I always pack pouches of tuna and salmon. In a pinch, I'll buy a garden salad and toss the tuna on top. I call it my "emergency tuna." It can also come in handy on long flights, and with short connections. True, not everyone appreciates the aroma of canned fish on a plane... but it beats paying $12 for a snack box filled with shelf-stable lunchmeats and cheeses.
  • I pack pre-measured dry oats or quinoa flakes, and protein powder. This can provide a quick breakfast at the hotel. Most rooms offer a coffee maker, which is good for heating up the oats.
  • Protein bars can provide a quick meal replacement, and I'll pack one or two, just in case.
  • When eating out, I try and choose grilled lean meats, steamed or fresh veggies, and rice or fruit. I don't stress too much about it otherwise. I think it's important to make good choices when possible, and to know that the body is amazingly adaptive. Excess calories here and there aren't a big deal if I'm training hard and eating right 90% of the time.

My energy levels have been good in the gym, even with all of my travels! My strength has continued to increase, even while leaning down. I attribute it to PEAK ATP! I have been taking it for the last couple of months, and this is the first time that I have lost body fat and gotten stronger. I'm excited to see how I perform in the upcoming track season!

It is possible to achieve goals, even while traveling or with a busy schedule. It just takes some planning to stay on track with training and eating, and I think supplementation helps, too!! Thanks for reading! Until next time... train hard, y'all!

-Erin Stern, IFBB Pro/USATF Competitor

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